April 25, 2022

Recruitment Marketing: What It Is, and Things To Think About

Before 2020, recruitment marketing (RM) roles were viewed as tactical positions. But when the pandemic hit, recruitment marketers became “chief empathizers.” They served as both documentarians and storytellers and helped their companies humanize their internal and external communications during a difficult time. Today RM roles have become much more strategic because these practitioners have a unique set of skills and audience insights. If you look across the company, who else regularly thinks strategically about both the external and internal perception (and reality) of the company? The voices of recruitment marketers have been influential in helping companies do right by employees, candidates, customers, and their communities.  

Employers today need to illustrate how they provide stable yet exciting job opportunities to candidates. And the best way to do this continues to be from sharing stories from the employee's perspective. That is an absolute shift that is required. Candidates want to hear from as directly as possible from people who work at the company. Authenticity is becoming more and more important.  

Candidates can tell when something is “corporate speak.” We at Proactive Talent find more and more reasons to push our organizations to reveal their unfiltered employee experience and company culture. As recruitment marketers, we’re not only playing the role of storytellers but also the role of story facilitators. A deeper analysis of this is expressed below; specifically, we address the following questions.


  • What is the definition of recruitment marketing?   
  • What is the difference between recruitment marketing and traditional marketing?  
  • What is the difference between recruitment marketing and employer branding?   
  • Why push recruitment marketing forward as an HR discipline?  
  • What is a recruitment marketing strategy and its essential components?  
  • What does a recruitment marketing manager do? 
  • What are some tools that can be used for recruitment marketing?  
  • What are some examples of exceptional recruitment marketing?  

2-Recruitment Marketing


What is the definition of recruitment marketing?  

Recruitment marketing is the art and science of attracting and nurturing talent to your organization through various marketing, advertising, and outreach strategies. Recruitment marketing supports talent acquisition and is often considered the top of the funnel that supports awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, and hire. There are several tactics, strategies, and best practices that can fall under recruitment marketing such as job advertising and social media marketing. 

candidate funnel


What is the difference between recruitment marketing and traditional marketing? 

Recruitment Marketing has specific objectives and strategies around talent attraction and talent acquisition. The goals of recruitment marketing drive people to apply for open positions and focus on specific things such as the candidate experience and candidate engagement. Companies also use recruitment marketing to help support, communicate, and amplify their employee value proposition and enhance their employer brand. Traditional marketing and recruitment marketing have distinctly different goals and objectives, but there are parallels between the two. The similarities include strategies such as engagement, brand awareness, and marketing tactics (search, display, email, retargeting) and the use of engagement tools such as CRMs, marketing automation, machine-learning, and programmatic job advertising.  

“Recruiting concentrates attention on specific jobs whereas recruitment marketing puts the focus on the employer’s brand.” -Travis Triggs, Proactive Talent  


What is the difference between recruitment marketing and employer branding?   

Employer Brand builds awareness to attract people to your company. Employer brand is telling a company’s story (in an authentic way) to attract the best talent and keep existing talent engaged with the company culture. Recruitment marketing showcases (or highlights) the employer brand and increases awareness by using content, imagery, and storytelling. What a candidate learns about a company’s mission, culture, and its key differentiators in today’s hypercompetitive labor market influences candidates, and is critical to their selection of a job.  

“Employer branding is telling the authentic story of your company. It focuses on the “why work for us” factors like imagery, culture, benefits, inclusion, perks - and showcasing those differentiations. Recruitment marketing targets the right audience and platforms to amplify that authentic company story. It’s ensuring your jobs are in front of the right people, at the right time, to attract the best talent.”  -Ryan Affolter, Proactive Talent


Why push recruitment marketing forward as an HR discipline? 

Every successful enterprise has a sales and marketing function. Likewise, modern recruiting organizations need both recruiting and recruitment marketing functions or an RM partner — to successfully attract and build relationships that turn into hires. The benefits are simple and obvious — raised awareness of jobs, increasing interest in an opportunity, and nurturing decisions to apply. In other words, one cannot have great candidates without great applicants, and those will not happen without great leads.  

Recruitment marketing is the source of great leads and arguably the cornerstone of effective recruiting efforts. When a company struggles to hire the best talent for the job, quality decreases, innovation slows, company culture decays, people leave, and market share erodes. Having a comprehensive recruitment marketing strategy in place will aid in the early development and nurture of applicants ahead of a company’s dire need.  


What is a recruitment marketing strategy?  

A formal plan of action for finding and attracting prospective talent before they apply for a job.

What are the essential components of a recruitment marketing strategy?

  • A clearly established employer brand Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your employer brand is your reputation as an employer — how internal and external audiences perceive you as an employer. [1] 
  • Segmented audience profiles — Different groups of people need different information about your organization. Defining your various audiences and their needs will help you send targeted and relevant messages and provide more personalized engagement with your organization. [2] 

  • Content marketing — Creating interesting, relevant, and useful content for your audience as a way to engage and retain them rather than marketing your company’s products or services. [3] 

  • Careers website — This is a page or site where people go to learn who you are as an employer and to apply for jobs. It is a critical place for candidates and is a primary place for highlighting your employer brand.  

  • Digital advertising — online marketing using images, videos, and audio ads through channels such as websites and streaming services. [4] 

  • Social media strategy — As Hootsuite explains, this is a “document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.” [5] 
  • Candidates lead capture (talent community) — When people visit your careers page, inviting them to join a talent community will allow you to share company information and culture as well as stay informed about future opportunities. [6]   

  • Candidate nurturing strategy — Through intentionally timed communications to specifically targeted groups of candidates, personalized interactions with your company allow people to deepen their interest in your organization when  evaluating their next career move. [7]  

  • Collect and analyze data

rm platform comparison template-05


What does a Recruitment Marketing Manager do?  


Who you are professionally:

You’re a passionate storyteller who connects and inspires people with your content. And you think like a marketer. But you don’t want to sell a product, you want to compel people toward professional opportunities that bring meaning and fulfillment to their lives. As our Recruitment Marketing Manager, you’ll use your creative skills to design and lead the marketing strategy for our talent attraction efforts. You'll collaborate with the talent acquisition, internal communications, and marketing teams to bring our employer brand to life and attract top talent.  

 What you will do: 

  • Develop recruitment marketing guide or content 
  • Amplify our employer brand  
  • Collaborate with various teams and business partners to increase brand awareness  
  • Utilize engaging and relevant content to cultivate and grow our talent community networks 
  • Lead the content strategy for our careers site which will include videos, photos, and blog posts 
  • Identify and create timely communication touch points throughout the candidate journey   
  • Track, measure, and report on campaign results  

What experience you need: 

  • A history of executing successful recruitment marketing strategies 
  • Experience developing communications for employees 

What could set you apart: 

  • Experience directing and creating video content for employer branding 


What are some tools that can be used for recruitment marketing?

Website Data 

Careers Site Platforms  

Programmatic Job Advertising Platforms  

Data Visualization Tools  

Recruitment Marketing Platforms 

Recruitment Marketing Software 

Recruitment Marketing Software 

Social Media   

Email Marketing


creative recruiting strategies-08


What are some examples of exceptional recruitment marketing?  

  • Secret job description: IKEA inserted into boxes of furniture what looked like a set of building instructions but was actually a flyer of "career assembly" information. [8] 

  • Hidden advertisement: Volkswagen needed mechanics and decided to deliver damaged cars to repair shops, leaving application forms in the bonnet of the cars for mechanics to find. [9] 

  • Personalized iPod Shuffles: Red 5 Studios assembled a list of the 100 people in the gaming industry whose work they most admired. They created a custom website for them to access and learn about a specific job that the company had specifically chosen for them. At the heart of the multilayer package that they send was a custom-engraved iPod with a special code that allowed them to access the site. [10] 

  • Postmates partnered with Proactive Talent to develop their employer brand, its strategy, and execution ahead of a significant hiring push. The efforts included training and creating collateral such as external branded microsites, spotlight articles, videos, and ads. [11]  

  • To find great salespeople, Ogilvy used social media to invite potential candidates to film themselves selling a brick. The reward was a three-month paid internship. [12]  

  • When people come to Marriott’s careers page, named employees interacted with candidates and answered questions. [13]

  • A 60-second programming puzzle with a $100 reward was offered every day for a month to attract engineers to Quixey. [14]  

  • A billboard sponsored by Google used a mathematical puzzle to share a website address where they announced they were looking for engineers. [15]  

  • A Royal Marines video ad used reverse psychology by showing the physically demanding, intense, and challenging training for a soldier with a caption of “99.99% need not apply.” [16]  

  • A German recruitment agency Jobsintown.de, had up-close eye-catching images of a person in cramped space often as if performing the work inside a machine with the statement, “Life’s too short for the wrong job.” [17] 

  • A company looking for engineers took an old-school approach by creating a printed tear-off information flyer and posting it on a bulletin board at a place where passive candidates spend their free time. [18] 

  • Humor is a great tactic and memes are a great starting point. LennonWright got it right when using the distracted boyfriend meme to pitch their jobs over other tech jobs. [19]

  • Uncle Grey learned that their target candidate for a front-end developer position spent time playing online games such as Fortress 2. They set up a sponsorship with top players of Fortress 2 who shared posters and a special URL with other players. [20] 


For additional information on what recruitment marketing can do for your business, contact us and start a conversation.



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